Last month, the US Commerce Department, led by Secretary Wilbur Ross, came to an agreement with its Mexican counterparts, when it signed a new tomato import deal that would supplant the recently departed Tomato Suspension Agreement.
News stories about anti-dumping laws and tariffs on Mexican imports, and 100 percent inspection rates of produce coming up from Mexico, have been circulating for months now, but with a new tomato deal, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to building a better bridge between the two North American trade partners.
But while everyone from tomato importers here in Arizona to tomato growers in Florida are breathing a sigh of relief over the new deal, some farmers are hoping for the same legislative progress for other crops including cucumbers, peppers, blueberries, and melons.
The American Farm Bureau’s president Zippy Duvall said in a statement that “other crops haven’t received such relief, so other farmers struggle to keep up with surging imports from Mexico,” such as the items listed above.
“The United States trade representative has a duty to defend all agricultural markets, so it’s our sincere hope his office will move quickly to forge similar agreements over other products that are too often sold at artificially low prices,” he continued.
According to chamberbusinessnews.com¸ the value of Mexican fruit and vegetable imports to the United States has more than quadrupled since the early 2000s, according to U.S. Census trade data. Roughly $3 billion worth of produce crossed through just the Nogales port of entry in 2018.